web analytics
December 22, 2014 / 30 Kislev, 5775
 
At a Glance
Judaism
Sponsored Post
8000 meals Celebrate Eight Days of Chanukah – With 8,000 Free Meals Daily to Israel’s Poor

Join Meir Panim’s campaign to “light up” Chanukah for families in need.



Taxi Standstill

Business-Halacha-logo

Zvi was working in his office in the city. Toward the end of the day his wife called. “Do you remember that we have our cousin’s wedding tonight?” she asked. “You need to get home as fast as you can!”

“Yes, I remember,” Zvi replied. “I’m planning to take a taxi.”

At 5:00 sharp Zvi headed out of the office to the street. He raised his hand and hailed the next available cab. He provided the cabbie his address and was surprised to find that the cab driver was a religious Jew.

“I usually take the train,” Zvi said. “But we have a cousin’s wedding tonight and I have to get home quickly.”

“I’ll try my best,” said the driver, “but it is rush hour.”

After heading crosstown, they finally got on the highway. Traffic was moving slowly, but steadily.

“Looks OK,” said the driver. “Not bad for rush hour.”

No sooner had he said this than the traffic slowed considerably and then came to a complete standstill.

“What’s going on?” Zvi asked the driver.

The driver turned on his radio. “Major accident on the highway,” they heard over the radio. “Traffic is at complete standstill due to intense police activity. Avoid the area and take alternate routes.”

Zvi looked at his watch. “Is there any way to get off the highway?” he asked the driver.

“The next exit is a quarter-mile from here,” said the driver. “But I can’t budge an inch. We’re stuck in a parking lot!”

Meanwhile, the taximeter continued to tick, adding 50 cents every minute. After twenty minutes, they hadn’t progressed at all, and the fare had increased $10. “People all around were getting out of their cars to look and stretch their legs.

Finally, Zvi turned to the driver. “We could be stuck here another half hour, and then we have to deal with all the traffic buildup,” he said. “I’m better taking the train! I’m getting off here. What does the meter read?”

“You’re leaving me stuck in the traffic to lose more time after I’ve already wasted twenty minutes here?” replied the taxi driver. “That’s not fair to me!”

“It’s not my fault there was an accident,” replied Zvi. “I didn’t cause you the loss.”

“But you hired me to take you home,” argued the taxi driver. “You’re leaving me in the middle of the job.”

“The fare is determined by the meter,” reasoned Zvi. “If I end here – that’s it.”

“I attend a business halacha shiur,” said the cab driver. “We learned that if an employer retracts in the middle of a job he owes the worker compensation for the reminder of the job.”

“I’m not sure that applies here,” said Zvi. “But I just installed the new ‘Dial-a-Dayan’ app on my phone. We can ask Rabbi Dayan.”

“Wow!” exclaimed the driver. “I never knew there was such an application.”

“Just kidding,” laughed Zvi. “But I do have Rabbi Dayan’s phone number.”

Zvi called Rabbi Dayan and presented the issue. “Do I owe the driver anything for the remainder of the trip?” he asked.

“There is a difference between a car service driver, who is paid a flat amount for the ride, and a taxi driver, whose fare is determined by the meter,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “In a car service, you have to compensate the driver if you stop in the middle of the ride; in a taxi, you do not.”

“Why should that make a difference?” asked Zvi.

“Once the worker begins a job, he has a commitment to complete it and the owner has a commitment to provide him the salary,” explained Rabbi Dayan. “Thus, if the owner retracts in the middle of the job, he still owes the worker compensation for the remainder of the salary. He can deduct a certain amount, though, since the worker now has free time and, in this case, saves on gasoline for the remaining distance. This is called k’poel batel – like an idle worker.” (C.M. 333:2)

“Why is a taxi different then?” asked Zvi.

“For two reasons,” answered Rabbi Dayan. “First, a taxi can usually find another customer who will pay the same fare.”

“This makes sense in routine circumstances, where the taxi driver can pick up new passengers,” said Zvi. “But here the driver is stuck and cannot pick up anyone!”

About the Author: Rabbi Meir Orlian is a faculty member of the Business Halacha Institute, headed by HaRav Chaim Kohn, a noted dayan. To receive BHI’s free newsletter, Business Weekly, send an e-mail to subscribe@businesshalacha.com. For questions regarding business halacha issues, or to bring a BHI lecturer to your business or shul, call the confidential hotline at 877-845-8455 or e-mail ask@businesshalacha.com.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

2 Responses to “Taxi Standstill”

  1. Trivializing halacha is no better than ignoring it

    re

  2. Dan Silagi says:

    Let me add another factor: Taxi fares take into account the occasional traffic jam which is so bad that one is better off walking the rest of the way to one's destination. Thus, the quick, uneventful ride is counterbalanced by nightmares such as this. On the other hand, a flat rate ride is just that. The only exception would be if the cab broke down, which isn't the case here.

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Soldiers check Palestinian Authority Arabs for knives,explosives, guns, screwdrivers and anything else that can be used to murder.
Palestinian Authority Terrorist Tries to Kill Soldier at Checkpoint
Latest Judaism Stories

What does the way we count the days of Chanukah come to teach us about living in the present?

Knesset and Menorah

Israel projects global material illumination not always the light of “morality” meant by the Navi

Parsha-Perspective-Logo-NEW

To many of our brethren Chanukah has lost its meaning.

Parsha-Perspective-Logo-NEW

This ability to remain calm under pressure and continue to see the situation clearly is a hallmark of Yehuda’s leadership.

It would have been understandable for these great warriors to become dispirited.

The travail of Yosef was undoubtedly the greatest trauma of Yaakov’s life, which certainly knew its share of hardships.

Yosef, in interpreting the first set of dreams, performed in a manner that was clearly miraculous to all.

Chazal teach us that we need to be “sur may’rah v’asei tov,”avoid bad and do good.

When we celebrate the completion of learning a section of Torah, we recite the Hadran.

Fetal Immersion?
‘The Fetus Is A Limb Of Its Mother’
(Yevamos 78a)

Yosef proves he is a true leader; He is continually and fully engaged in the task of running Egypt

When the inability cannot be clearly attributed to either spouse, the halacha is the subject of debate among the Rishonim.

Those who reject our beliefs know in their souls Jewish power stems from our faith and our prayers.

He stepped outside, and, to his dismay, the menorah was missing. It had been stolen.

Though we Jews have deep obligations to all people our obligation to our fellow Jew is unique.

In a way that decision was the first in a series of miracles with which Hashem blessed us.

More Articles from Rabbi Meir Orlian
Business-Halacha-logo

He stepped outside, and, to his dismay, the menorah was missing. It had been stolen.

Business-Halacha-logo

“I do not owe anything,” Mr. Feder replied. “However, if I must come – I will.”

Mr. Weiss refused to listen and sued Mr. Cohen in civil court.

In the afternoon, he reached into his pocket to check for the money, but it was empty. “The $50 bill must have fallen out,” Alex exclaimed. “It’s got to be in one of the rooms I was just at.”

Dovid turned to the other people sitting at his table. “I’m revoking my hefker of the Chumash,” he announced. “I want to keep it.”

“That’s what I thought, so I returned the money to Aharon,” said Reuven. “But this morning, Shimon, who owes me $70, told me he left $70 for me under the table last week! Now I don’t know whether the $70 was connected to the note, and was Aharon’s for the purchase of sefarim, or was repayment to me from Shimon, unrelated to the note.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Ross picked up the bris kit. While driving home, he was stopped by armed thugs. They forced him out of the car and drove off with the bris kit inside.

“ ‘We’re almost out of stamps,’ I said. ‘I’ll be happy to run over to the post office and pick up a supply.’ ”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/judaism/halacha-hashkafa/taxi-standstill/2013/10/24/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: